Sunday, April 27, 2014

Photo Booth

Our Mac has this great program my kids love to play around with called Photo booth.  They will often waste a bit of time making funny faces and putting strange filters on to make them all distorted in funny ways.  I wish I saved more of the photos because they think it is so hilarious and have such fun doing it. I just found this one saved for some reason on desktop. It just needed to be shared.

Some photos I forgot to include on the Blog.

I was looking through my photos stored here on the computer and realized I had some that need to be posted here. One day I will print out my blog (I am a few years behind on printing it.) and that becomes my journal/scrapbook etc.  There are some pictures that need to be included but are now a month old and need to be included.

What a family!
My cousin, one of the daughter's of my dad's brother, lives only about an hour away from us. Her daughter was getting baptized and my Uncle, Aunt and several cousins were all going to be out here in CA for the event. We knew it was something we didn't want to miss.

The church building was huge! I have never seen one so big. I guess there are two chapels and a full size gym and who knows what else. I didn't take a tour because there were people setting up a wedding reception in the gym and we didn't want to get in the way. But the kids sure had fun running around in the foyer up and down the stairs.
A selfie. 

 Chatting with my uncle

 My aunt. I think my hair will be that color in a few months. It is going so grey so quickly!

A rare family shot of the 6 of us.

It was a fun event and nice to see some family that I don't get to see often. We don't make it out to AZ often.

Just thought I would throw these in just so I have them in that journal/scrapbook I will printout on day.

Our Kitty

I keep finding lots of pictures of our Peezy on the camera. The kids find the camera and snap pictures of the kitten while she naps around the house. 

 Such a patient kitty.

She has such a hard life.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Review of K5 Learning

So my 6 weeks are over and it is time to tell you what I think of K5 Learning. I have three children who in the Kindergarden to 5th grade range. The first thing I did after setting up my profile was have each of them do the assessment. 

My 4 year old, who would be starting Kindergarden in the Fall if we were sending her to public school, tried to do the math assessment and got bogged down on it and didn't finish. I personally don't worry about formal math with my kids until they can read pretty fluently. I didn't ever have her finish the assessment which means she was never able to do the Kindergarden math lessons.  

My 8 year old boy took the assessments for math and reading and pretty much was at the 3rd grade level which is where he currently is, so that was reassuring.  Good to know he is right on track. 

My 10 year old took the assessments and the results showed that he was already beyond 5th grade in math and right on target for 4th grade in Reading. He could have done the lessons to reinforce the math and reading skills but he wasn't overly interested in doing these lessons. He is focused on other things like building lego robots. When he has computer time he doesn't want to do lessons. He wants to program. Other than the assessments he didn't use this K5 program. 

 So even though I have three kids that were in the age range of this online program I really only had two that used it much at all.

My daughter used it the most and would often ask to play K5.  She liked the reading games and while I thought they were rather repetitive and slow she seemed to be just fine with them.  There were many times the lesson got boring or perhaps she didn't understand what she was supposed to do or maybe it was too hard and she just gave up and turned it off.
My 8 year old boy would play K5 usually after sitting and watching his sister play for a bit. He didn't ask to do it and would get bored pretty quickly once he started but he likes to work on the computer when he gets the chance and this gave him an option that I was alright with. I think the program moved too slowly for him. The explainations were too long and the people talked too slow. Perhaps that is a California issue. Don't we all talk to fast here! He just thought everything took too long. He is used to programs that respond quicker I guess.

The 10 year old would sometimes sit in on the lessons but usually he would make comments about how easy it would be to make this program and then he would go on and on about how he would do it.  He was more interested in how the lessons functioned rather than the content. This is just the type of kid he is. He is always trying to figure out how something works.

The other day my daughter asked if she could play K5 and I told her our free trial period was over she was sad that she didn't have this program to turn to when she was bored. That is usually when she would ask me if she could do K5. She wanted to play on the computer and she knew if it was a "learning game" I was more likely to let her do it.

While it was nice to have a program like this to turn to when my kids wanted computer time I am not willing to pay $25 a month or $200 a year for it. I guess if I thought of it as their school work and used K5 as their reading and math curriculum then it might be attractive but since it was something we used as a supplement and a once in awhile "game" it isn't something I feel the need to invest in at this time.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Windy Days

 We live in a very windy place. There is almost always a wind blowing through our little valley. The kids decided it was perfect for flying a kite so they took their new Easter gift out for a test flight.

 The park near our house had a big field that was just right for kite flying.

 Evidently the wind here comes and goes in gusts and the kite would go up and stay up for a bit and then it would tumble out of the sky and nose dive down to the ground.

 I was alright with this because that just gave us an opportunity to switch who got hold the string during the next flight.

 Everyday, when the kids see that the wind is whipping through the trees in the backyark the they ask if they can take the kite to the park.

I guess it counts as p.e. so I can even claim it is school.

Monday, April 7, 2014

There was Green this weekend

 This is one my kid's favorite weekends to head to Grandma's house. They know Conference Weekend is always when the pasture grass is green and soft and the weather is perfect for a lot of outside play.

In years past the grass has been really long but Grandpa has had a number of cows in the pasture for a number of months and they have eaten the grass all short and left a lot of "pies" all over the place. This didn't stop the kids from spending a good amount of time outside enjoying the sunshine and green.
 Grandpa's tire swing got a lot of action.

 The kids have also been working on their fort. They have a group of trees that they have made into their fort. Together, with their cousins, they have dragged branches and such to make a sort of fence around these trees so the cows don't come in and leave their calling cards inside.
 The fort has a number of great climbing trees.

 They would love to have an actual tree house but I explained that growing up we didn't have any tree houses either and that we made forts much like the one they created here. I showed them a few places we had made into forts but many of the trees have over the years fallen or cut down and used in the fire. They kids weren't impressed by any of them.  They prefered their fort and when the cousins came they quickly headed out to their little bunch of trees. I guess things don't change too much.

 The kids wanted to find some more cat tail fluff but the swampy area at the bottom of the pasture wasn't all that swampy and this wasn't the cat tail season. Who knows if there will be a cat tail season this year?

 Grandma's violets were in bloom. This little corner flowerbox by the house has had violets for a long as I can remember. Some bushes are now gone that used to be toward the back but the violets come back year after year.

 Sophie took control of the camera during one of our walks. She needed to "collect" nature (via pictures) for her STEM class. So she snapped pictures of a lot of different flowers and trees and rocks as we made our way up the street. I am not going to post them all here but she did end up taking quite a few lovely pictures along with the nature she was "collecting".
 California Poppies were so cheerful decorating many places along the road.
 These little quail sit on the mailbox of one of the neighbors along the street. Sophie loves to take a shot like this with us in the background.

 Oh look.... miner's lettuce right next to a huge amount of poison oak.
 My parents live in such a beautiful place. It is so nice to go up for a weekend and enjoy time in nature and with family.
This really is a beautiful time of year in the Sierras.  It won't be green for long. There is only a few short weeks where the grass is green before the summer sun scorches it to a yellow. We know the first weekend of April is especially a great time to hang out at Grandma's house.